Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Began the day in: Seattle, WA
Ended the day in: Charlotte, NC
Footsteps echoed as I walked downstairs in our home for the last time. The sound bounced off the walls dramatically without any furniture inside the house. It was a strange feeling, leaving our home. Daniel and I rented this beautiful old house five years ago and have many happy memories here. But it was time to move on.
We had been working non-stop for weeks in preparation for the move. It had been an interesting challenge to pack up the house and plan for extended international travel at the same time. We wanted to change our focus from accumulating things to collecting experiences. So we rented a 10×10 storage unit and got rid of everything that wouldn’t fit.
It turns out that giving away most of one’s possessions is a lot of work. I spent countless hours coordinating with various individuals on our local Buy Nothing group, Craig’s List Free section and Freecycle as well as pawning off things to friends and family and putting them out to the curb. It felt good to know that most of our belongings were going to homes that needed them.
At the same time, we had to make plans for our trip. We each got an array of immunizations, updated our permanent address and banking information, obsessed over travel gear, coordinated new health insurance plans, and countless other tasks. As moving day approached, it became clear that we wouldn’t finish everything before we left. But that was ok. We could continue to coordinate logistics and refine our gear as we went.
Daniel and I had spent the last few nights on an air mattress after we moved all of the furniture out of the house. We planned to put our air mattress and bedding in storage on the way to the airport but – surprise! – the storage unit didn’t open until 9:30 am. So we found ourselves in a pickle. Minutes before we left for the airport, my friend Dina kindly agreed to pick up the items from the back porch and babysit them until the next time we came through town. Whew! Thanks Dina 😀.
Soon, we were on our way to the SeaTac airport for our flight to Huntington, WV. Huntington is Daniel’s hometown and we planned to spend a few days visiting his family before leaving the country. Actually, now that we’re married they are officially my family now too.
Our flight connected briefly through Charlotte and I was a bit nervous about the short connection time. Daniel had broken several toes a month ago and wasn’t able to walk very fast. We would have difficulty making any connections that required walking a long distance. When we arrived at the gate for our flight in SeaTac I knew we were in trouble. The first leg of our flight was delayed by 40 minute due to mechanical problems. There was no way that we’d make our connection now. The airline booked us on the next flight to Huntington which left the following morning.
And that is how we found ourselves unexpectedly staying at the Wyndham Garden Hotel near the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina for the first night of our trip. I rummaged through my tiny backpack with mounting despair as I realized that all my toiletries and medications were in my other bag which was checked through to Huntington. We had been so busy with moving out of our house that I hadn’t planned well for this at all. Oh well. I’d learned my lesson for next time.
I snagged a disposable toothbrush and packet of toothpaste from the hotel lobby and headed to bed. I have some friends in Charlotte that I’d love to visit but we we had to get up in 5 hours for our next flight.
All in all it was not a bad first day. It didn’t go exactly as we had planned but these things happen when you travel. And we were going to be travelling all the time now. I guess we may as well adapt and get used to it.